FNPI REPORT ON TRENDS THAT SHAPE DIGITAL AUDIENCE IN COLOMBIA

The Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for New Ibero-American Journalism (FNPI) and the Journalism Studies Center in the University of Andes-Ceper produced a report identifying eight key trends that contribute to understanding the digital audience in Colombia including how social networks, public universities, and mobile devices factor into the sustainability of journalism companies.

The report explored questions regarding digital audiences, and analysed consumer habits and the circulation of journalistic information in public universities, the role of social networks as content distributors, and the rise of mobile devices. In meetings through the advisory group of FNPI’s Journalistic Ethics Program, including directors of Colombia’s main media outlets, they sought to address the relationship between the Internet and journalism, including: How do young people consume their information? What strategy have media platforms implemented for mobile platforms? Are social networks influencing the overall traffic of users in news media? What experiments has the media launched in Colombia in recent years?

To produce this study, 30 media platforms were selected under the following criteria: producing informative media content, whose domain is registered in Colombia, and whose user traffic, registered by SimilarWeb, led the top 30 positions. Of these 30 platforms, 17 are online newspapers, five are native digital, three are digital magazines, three are radio-based, and two are on television.

The report uncovered eight critical factors that contribute to understanding the digital audience in Colombia:

  1. Three words: time, platform, and traffic – Audiences consume information in a fluid way throughout the day and through different screens. The time users are connected, the platform(s) they use, and the volume of traffic of a website are crucial to reading audiences.

  2. University students become informed through the Internet – Young people are consuming news through digital channels. Social networks are the new preferred media for younger audiences, who prefer this method over traditional media delivery.

  3. Mobile phones, not computers – In Colombia, the battle for public’s digital attention is being won by mobile phones over computers. This is also a trend in others countries, and significantly affects the world of journalism.

  4. Local  media vs. traditional media – The local digital media ecosystem has grown in recent years; however, it does not compete in audience size with the online versions of established  media outlets.

  5. Local media dominate social networks – The traffic of Colombian digital media mostly comes from social networks. These social networks receive more traffic than they receive on digital versions of established media by this channel.

  6. Social networks over mobile applications – Social networks are primary points of content in Colombia, especially for young people. There is more traffic through social media than in mobile news applications. Furthermore, the use of news applications is relatively low.

  7. Facebook and Google are indestructible – The social network and the search engine, respectively, are considered the most popular and fundamental for the circulation of information on the Internet. Networks and audiences contribute about 65% of the traffic received by the most consulted news media.

  8. Engagement is the main challenge – To involve audiences with a medium is called engagement. Finding a way to measure it (a combination of variables such as the number of users, time browsing, and interactions, among others) and a way to generate it is fundamental challenge for digital media in terms of sustainability and strengthening the community.

The remaining sections of the report guide you through the context of this information in relation to Colombia, and expand on these eight areas by providing further research into established media vs. local media, mobile applications, and digital media and social networks.

Read the full report in Spanish on FNPI’s website